Has education chief Lubisi resigned?

2009-08-12 00:00

DESPITE reports from various quarters, including the trade union movement, that KZN Education Head of Department Cassius Lubisi handed in his resignation at the beginning of this month, the KZN Education Department has denied he has quit his post.

Education Department spokesman Mbali Thusi said yesterday this was “just rumours”.

Lubisi has in recent weeks come under increasing attack from the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (Sadtu), which has called for him to go. A number of protests have been staged this year by teachers, department clerks, cleaners and security personnel over various issues, many of which are money-related.

Lubisi took over as head of the department in 2005 during the tenure of Ina Cronje.

While the National Association of Professional Teachers of South Africa (Naptosa) has confirmed that Lubisi managed a tight ship, which they said is perhaps what is behind his unpopularity, the biggest teacher union in the province, Sadtu, has emphatically expressed its dissatisfaction at his management style.

Relations are believed to have chilled after a national public service strike in 2007, when Cronje and Lubisi stuck to their guns on a no work, no pay policy.

Sadtu said the deductions went against the “basic conditions of employment” and accused the department of being inconsistent in the application of procedures and failing to act on corruption.

Lubisi has also been accused of being responsible for the increasing failure rate among matriculants.

A further rift was caused by the March mass action of Service centre employees, 230 of whom were effectively dismissed after the department said they continued to participate in an unprotected strike, despite a strong warning that it is illegal.

The employees have since been reinstated.

More recently, the union blamed Lubisi and five of his top officials for all the problems, saying in a public statement: “Cassius Lubisi is a failure. He must disgracefully leave the department. He must go!”

Sadtu is planning to intensify the pressure by forcing Lubisi and the five officials to resign from their positions through rolling mass action, which is due to start today.

When The Witness contacted the Sadtu’s provincial secretary about the allegations that Lubisi has resigned, an elated Mbuyiseni Mathonsi said that development would be like the dawn of a radical and revolutionary change which has long been awaited by those serious about education in the province.

“I say he has done us a favour and for the first time he has thought about the majority. We would ask him to advise the other five how it’s done.”

Mathonsi said Lubisi has managed “a mess”.

“He has failed on everything. He has been the most brutal of all managers against workers. He has sent workers with a minus 0 salary home at the end of the month. A majority of the people he employed hated him.”

However, Naptosa’s Anthony Pierce said Lubisi’s departure would be an unhappy day for education.

 

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